Business group urges compromise in Clean Fuels impasse


As Republicans promise to stall a transportation package until the Clean Fuels program is amended, the Oregon Business Association is leaning on the legislature to end the standoff.

Share this article!

BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As Republicans promise to stall the passage of a transportation package until the Clean Fuels program is amended, the Oregon Business Association is leaning on the legislature to end the standoff.

From the Portland Business Journal:

In a letter to Gov. Kate Brown and lawmakers, the Oregon Business Association said it remains committed to advancing a long-term transportation package and supports a compromise on the controversial clean fuels program if it will get Republicans back to the table. The governor has held several meetings with leaders of both houses to restart talks, which halted after the Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a bill lifting a sunset on the Low Carbon Fuels Standard, or clean fuels bill, over fierce Republican opposition.

Republicans, who said they would not pass a transportation package if the clean fuels bill passed, want it repealed as a condition of returning to discussions. A transportation package can’t pass without at least one Republican vote in the house. Ryan Deckert, president of the Oregon Business Association, and Mark Long, chairman of the board as well as managing partner of law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, said a transportation package is too important to fail.

The group’s letter read: “The business community understands the long-term demands of investing in critical transportation and infrastructure projects and this investment fosters a better economic climate and enhanced quality of life for our citizens. An added benefit is the reaction of tens of thousands of middle class jobs for Oregonians statewide.”

An oil and trucking industry group is also joining the fray, according to OregonLive.com.

The industry advocate group is pushing for a full repeal of the Clean Fuels program in one of the three draft proposals it submitted Wednesday.

The other two would scale back the carbon reduction goal to 5 percent, get rid of the program’s carbon-credit trading system and prevent the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality from forcing oil distributors to use alternative fuels that are more expensive. Each proposal would need 88,184 signatures by July 2016 to make it on the ballot.

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality has estimated the program could increase gas prices between four and 19 cents a gallon by 2025, and enraged Republicans have vowed to block a hoped-for transportation package if Democrats don’t repeal the program.

 




Latest from Oregon Business Team